Thursday, 05 May 2016 10:57

Medicine Hat potters firing up a spring showcase

Written by  Chris Brown
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Local potters were fired up in the dead of winter and are showing their creations at the Medicine Hat Public Library this month at Southeastern Alberta Fires Up.

It all started during renowned ceramics artist Terry Hildebrand’s artist-in-residence time at Medalta last winter.
While in the city he agreed to teach an advanced class for several members of the Medicine Hat Potters Association.
“We got really excited and got to play with the salt and soda kiln,” show director Dixie Baker said last week.
The club usually only has access to gas and electric kilns. With the salt and soda kiln, potters can take their work to another level with the ability to introduce salt or soda into the atmosphere as it is firing. It glazes the pots in the atmosphere and the pieces come out burnished with nice oranges that pick up the flame colour, Baker explains.
“It’s just a different technique and we don’t have an opportunity to do that very often so it was quite a fun winter,” she said.
Sixteen artists are showing 34 pieces in the exhibition, for which an opening reception was held May 5 at the library.
Baker says none of the pieces have been shown before and come from artists who have just begun working in ceramics to more accomplished artists.
There is plenty of traditional functional ware such as tea pots and mugs in the show, but also some unique pieces new to the group like garden scenes and fairy houses.
Membership in the club is holding steady at around 60 members, but people are encouraged to check out the club to see if it’s a fit for them.
The heavy lifting on the show behind them, club members are already making the bowls for the annual Chili Cook-Off that takes place downtown each summer. It’s an initiative the club is proud of, with all proceeds going to charity.
Southeastern Alberta Fires Up is on display at the library through the month of May.

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